Unless you are self-employed there is no requirement for a face to face meeting. If you are not self-employed and are drawn to a particular IP who you feel would handle your case well then I wouldn't let geography get in the way of that decision.
It does sound like you are having trouble communicating with your chosen company, I had no such problems with Melanie and her team.
I would say to make sure you are 100% happy with the service you are getting as it is for 5 years.
I did not have a face to face meeting, we had a telephone conversation and all points were discussed and questions answered. Also if I had any questions I was always able to speak with same person over the phone and was kept informed the whole way.
I wish you luck on your journey but urge you to make sure you are happy with everything before commiting yourself
Be positive & look after yourself, there are more important things in life than debts....